What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents?
In the United States, there are more than 13 million registered motorcycles (Motorcycle Industry Council 2018). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 riders die in motor vehicle accidents each year.
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Riding a bike exposes you to more risks than driving a car, which is why a motorcycle accident attorney may be essential for recovering damages after an injury. The NHTSA reports that riders are 28 times more likely to be killed in an accident than passengers in a vehicle, and they’re four times more likely to be injured.
Age is a factor
Riders of all ages are at risk for fatal injuries and crash on the road, but ages 25 to 29 are at the highest risk. This is because younger drivers often have less experience on the roads and may lack a basic understanding of how to safely operate their bikes.
Alcohol Use / Drug Use: Operating a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and can be fatal. More than half of all motorcycle accidents involve at least one rider who was impaired by alcohol.
Speeding: Driving fast is dangerous for both motorists and motorcyclists, but it’s especially harmful for motorcycles. This is because motorcycles don’t have airbags or other safety features like cars do, which can make them more vulnerable to collision.
Weather Conditions: Rain, fog, and sleet can cause a lot of trouble on the road. However, it’s important to note that only about 2% of all accidents can be linked to weather.
The most common cause of a motorcycle crash is when another vehicle violates the right-of-way, which can happen when a driver fails to see a bike. Other reasons for an accident include reckless driving, distracted driving, or road conditions.
Incorrect lane use, including lane splitting, is another common cause of motorcycle accidents. The NHTSA states that this is because the smaller size of a motorcycle makes it difficult for other vehicles to detect and recognize the bike.
Distracted driving also contributes to motorcycle crashes, as drivers tend to focus on their phones or music.
Increasingly, motorcycles have more and more sophisticated safety features that traditional vehicles do not. These include airbags and seat belts, which can save lives in the event of a crash.
Other factors that increase the risk of a crash for motorcyclists are speeding, drowsy driving, and aggressive driving. These factors are more likely to be present in a car than a motorcycle, so it’s critical for both drivers and riders to avoid distractions at all times.
Unsafe Road Conditions: Many states have roads that aren’t suitable for motorcyclists to travel on. This can be due to road defects or debris.
Incorrect weather conditions can also lead to a motorcycle crash, but this isn’t always the case. Most motorcycle crashes occur during daylight hours and on urban roadways.
The most common time of day for fatal crashes was during rush hour, between noon and 3 p.m., and on weekends between 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. These days, most accidents happen during the week, but weekend fatalities are still a real concern.